|Photo from The Heights|
I thought BC got out to a terrific start in the first five minutes of the game. They looked a lot faster, much more engaged, and created as many shots in the first period on Saturday as they did in the first two on Friday. Their first line of Zach Sanford, Adam Gilmour, and Alex Tuch got back to playing dominating hockey at times as they combined for three points, including Tuch's game winner in the third. BC's ever improving power play gave them the 1-0 advantage just four minutes in the game off an Ian McCoshen bomb which was followed up by a Teddy Doherty tally just 1:12 after. It seemed as the Eagles were poised to run their opponents out of the building on many occasions tonight but give Vermont credit as they kept coming back. They responded to another McCoshen goal towards the end of period when BC got caught in their own end to make it a one goal game after a period. For some odd reason, this team has abad tendency to follow up a goal with a couple of bad shifts. They continue to give opponent's huge momentum boosts by just shutting it down after someone scores a goal.
The second stanza was a relatively even twenty minutes but it was the Eagles who came out with two more goals thanks to a great individual by Quinn Smith and another power play from Austin Cangelosi, who Coach York said was the team's best forward all weekend long. I've always been a huge proponent of giving Austin more playing time because I think his dip in play was due to the people that were around not, him necessarily himself. He wants to get the puck on the wing and fly up and down the ice but he can't do that if his teammates don't get him the puck or catch up with him. I can't think of how many times he's on a rush all by himself while the two other guys on his line are either lagging behind him or not giving him an option in the middle. Obviously, the biggest positive I took away from the game is how good BC's power play looks. They are not going to win games in March unless they get the proper calls and capitalize on them, something they're starting to do game in and game out. Credit Coach Brown for getting what was an abysmal unit together in time for the stretch run.
To be totally honest, I didn't like BC's third period at all. We are not going to win any games in the Hockey East or NCAA tournaments by a 6-5 score. I'm no goaltending expert but I think Demko was maybe a bit to aggressive on a couple of UVM's goal as he seemed to be on top of the crease, something you don't see very often. It's probably much easier to make the initial stop from the point when your so far out but if that puck gets behind you, which it did, then it's going in the net without a doubt. Also, it is quite clear to me that not all of BC's defensemen are playing anywhere near the top of their games, in fact the only guys I thought were good back there were Savage and McCoshen, everyone else was average and that isn't going to win us any games next month. Scoring 6 goals is great and all but we all know that isn't going to happen when push comes to shove. Our defense and goaltending have to be the cornerstones of our club if we're going to make a run at this thing.
Anyways, the Eagles are still a long ways from clinching an NCAA tournament spot but they certainly avoided a collapse this weekend. I thought Vermont came in and played a heck of a series, the type of hockey they will probably need to display in order to make an NCAA tournament run of their own. I can't overstate the importance of getting Silk and Linell back. I know, they won't help any scoring issues but their returns would allow Doherty to go back to defense and they can go with the set pairs they always like. Some guys, particularly Matheson, play a lot better when they're with guys they're familiar with (Doherty). Hopefully those two can get back on the ice soon.
Why BC Won-
1. Power play was tremendous.
2. First line was much better. Still not their very best but all three, particularly Tuch, were big factors.
3. McCoshen is the only pro ready guy on this team. I'm really not sure if he is going to leave after this season but he is without a doubt the most prepared but he may want to stick around and be part of an undefeated team a year from now.
1. They can't allow Vermont back into that game while being up 5-2 and 6-3. That almost got real bad.
Player of the game- Ian McCoshen
Next- Lowell on Friday.
Note- Staff had four recruits in the building yesterday. Bracco, White, Fitzgerald, and Wood.